Prolonged Sitting and Standing: Complications

The physical requirements for working in today’s society consists more and more of sitting or pretty much standing in one place. This lack of movement with respect to gravity, leads to minimization of venous blood flow from the legs to the heart. The static nature of most activities and occupations lends to the body’s susceptibility to gravity’s influence. The blood more easily pools in the lower extremities and this facilitates the development of varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), especially for individuals with a family history of these anomalies.

In healthy people, the efficacy of the venous mechanisms function in their intended manner. There are valves in the veins the prevent reverse flow of the blood (i.e. blood flow in the direction of gravity). Properly functioning valves operate in conjunction with the muscles. Contracting muscles force the blood toward the heart; when the muscles relax, the valves are designed to close. This stops the blood from flowing away from the heart and pooling in the legs.  Physical activity, in conjunction with properly functioning valves, is typically sufficient for conducting venous blood from the legs to the heart.

The blood pressure profile of the human body in worth investigating. From the head going downward: the head – 100/60, heart level – 120/80, ankles – 210/170. When standing or sitting upright, there is a noticeably higher blood pressure in the lower extremities. Coupled with the smaller volume contained within the lower legs and feet, it is a major issue when any circulatory complications occur in that area. Deep Vein Thrombosis and Varicose Veins are resultant complications.

Read a book while upside down.
Upside down is the right thing to do . . . .


Blood that pools within varicose veins becomes depleted of oxygen and other essential nutrients. The tissue around the area can become swollen with red blood cells; this causes painful swelling, inflammation, and discoloration of the skin. Over time, the skin and tissue can form ulcers; they are very painful and difficult to treat, if left untreated. Symptomology of Deep Vein Thrombosis is more intense and problematic in comparison to varicose veins.

What are strategies that can be used for alleviating the complications arising from Varicose Veins and Deep Vein Thrombosis. In extremely acute cases, surgical options may be the best way to go. However, early treatment strategies can include natural extracts, walking, inversion therapy, compression stockings.

Compression stockings serve to enhance the upward flow of blood to the heart by squeezing the leg tissues and the walls of the veins. They also improve the flow of lymph, which moves impurities from the body and can reduces swelling. They can be used along with walking which activates the muscular action of contraction and relaxation. These muscular actions work in tandem with compression socks. Inversion therapy is the turning the body upside down; thereby allowing gravity to facilitate venous blood flow. Of particular interest for this purpose is a yoga pose whereby the legs go up the wall and the body/head are on the floor. This pose relieves excess pressure in the lower extremities. Adjustments can be made in cases of blood pressure concerns.

Ahhhhhhh . . . . . .
Take the weight off after a long day.

There are also natural extracts that can be used to mitigate the formation of formation of deadly clots and can make clots that do develop more likely to be quickly resolved. Nattokinase adversely affects the formation of factors involved with arterial and venous clotting. It breaks down clotting proteins called fibrins and reduces the activity of Factors VII and VIII, which can produce unwanted clotting. French Maritime Pine Bark reduces platelet aggregation, increases vascular function reducing thrombotic risks, reduces vascular wall stress by scavenging free radicals, improves microcirculation of the legs and inhibits enzymatic activities the cause stiffening of the blood vessel walls.***

Physical requirements in today’s society are not as important as they once were. Sitting and standing for long periods of time can take a toll on the body. Muscular activity and properly functioning veins insure the blood circulation flows to the heart, as well as from it. However, complications can arise. Varicose Veins, which is where poorly functioning valves allow blood to pool in the legs, can develop. If this situation is not adequately addressed, blood clots, or Thrombosis, are the resultant progression. In particular, Deep Vein Thrombosis is a condition that could require surgery. There are strategies that, if implemented early enough, can minimize the development of more serious complications. They include compression stockings, walking, inversion and natural extracts. Hopefully, if these circulatory inefficiencies are issues that you are dealing with, you are in contact with a physician that will discuss, with you, all of your options.

Be Healthy. Be Ageless. Be You . . . . . . . .

*** Downey, Michael “Lethal Dangers of Sitting to Long”, Life Extension, August 2018

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